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Tag: Yemen

Feds Arrest Naturalized U.S. Citizen After Allgedly Threatening to Kill Returning American Troops

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A naturalized U.S. citizen from Yemen planned to use firearms to kill returning American troops and Shitte Muslims living in the Rochester area, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.

The suspect, Mufid Elfgeeh made no secret of his hatred for the U.S. on Twitter.

Announcing his allegiance with al-Qaeda, he tweeted, “”al-Qaeda said it loud and clear; we are fighting the American invasion and their hegemony over the earth and the people.”

Another tweet advocated martyrdom and asked for donations for jihadists.

Elfgeeh, 30, is charged with two counts of illegally receiving and possessing unwarranted firearm silencers.

The investigation continues.

FBI Trailed U.S.-born al-Awlaki Nine Years Before He Was Killed by Drone

al-Awlaki

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In the six hours before radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki entered the Pentagon for a luncheon in February 2002, he was being tracked by the FBI’s elite surveillance unit, Fox News reports.

Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the bureau’s Special Surveillance Group trailed al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

Fox News wrote that al-Awlaki was delivering a controversial religious lecture to Defense Department officials after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The surveillance didn’t reveal much, Fox News reported, but it raised questions about whether the FBI saw al-Awlaki as an asset before the U.S. killed him nine years later.

 

 

CIA Drone Kills al-Qaeda Leader Fahd al-Quso Tied to USS Cole Bombingmen

Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso/fbi photo

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

In the war on terror, success can sometimes bring retaliation.

Global terrorist Fahd al-Quso, who had links to the USS Cole bombing, was killed in Yemen Sunday, according to Yemeni officials and confirmed by al-Qaeda, reports USA Today.

A CIA drone strike killed the top al-Qaeda leader, on the FBI Most-Wanted list for the bombing of of the ship in 2000. The CIA mission was coordinated with the U.S. military and Yemeni government, who have been partners in battle against al-Qaeda in southern Yemen.

Reports indicate that a surprise attack by al-Qaeda militants against a Yemeni army base early Monday may have been retaliation for the death of al-Quso. The cycle of violence continues as the militants killed 20 soldiers, captured 25, and made off with weapons and hardware by land and sea, according to USA Today.

Al-Quso was released from a Yemeni prison in 2007, having served 5 years for his role in the USS Cole bombing in which 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured. He was also implicated in the failed Underwear bomber attempt, in a 2009 Christmas flight over Detroit.

To read more click here.

 

FBI Dir. Mueller Visits Yemen and Vows to Battle Islamist Extremists

Robert Mueller III/ photo ticklethewire.com

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III vowed Tuesday in Yemen to help that nation battle an Islamist insurgency, Reuters news service reported.

Reuters also reported that a U.S. drone had killed a high level al Qaeda figure in Yemen linked to an attack on a French oil tanker.

Mueller met with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who took office earlier this year, and  promised the U.S. would support Yemen with full force, Reuters reported.

“Mueller visits Yemen on an annual basis so this is not a special or secret occasion,” said Mohammed Al-Basha, Yemen’s embassy spokesman in Washington, according to Reuters. “President Hadi emphasized that he is strongly committed to combating extremism and working with the U.S. to counter the mutual threat of terrorism.”

Mass. Man Convicted on Terrorism Charges in Boston

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man is facing life in prison after being convicted on Tuesday in Boston federal court on terrorism charges.

After  10 hours of deliberation, the federal jury convicted Tarek Mehanna of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaeda, to commit murder in a foreign country and to charges of providing false statements to the government, according to a statement by the FBI.

Jurors heard testimony that the 29-year-old and others discussed committing  violent jihad against American interests and to die on the battlefield. Mehanna and two others went to the Middle East in February of 2004 for military-type training. He continued to support terrorist groups upon returning by translating for and posting to jihadi websites, according to the FBI.

He was interviewed by federal authorities in December 2006 about a trip to Yemen he made in 2004, in which he provided false information.

The conspiracy to kill in a foreign country conviction could bring a life sentence, and other carious charges could amount to 26 years additionally. All carry up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

From his travel to Yemen to receive training to kill American soldiers to his material support for terrorism at home, Mr. Mehanna’s efforts to use and support violence followed no pre-defined path and knew no bounds,” said Richard DesLauriers, the Special Agent In Charge of the Boston FBI in a statement.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

Was FBI’s Disinterest in NY Terror Case an Indicator That It May Have Been Overblown?

Mayor Bloomberg

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Did police, district attorneys and Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg inflate the importance of a recent terror suspect arrest?  A New York magazine report suggests that was possibility.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and Mayor Bloomberg announced the arrest of Jose Pimentel at a city hall news conference Sunday night. But it turns out that the FBI had turned down requests to take part in the Pimentel investigation, citing some “issues” the agency had with the case.

“But more information on the seriousness of Pimentel’s threat, as suggested by the absence of the FBI in the investigation, could indicate that the arrest was more insignificant than it appeared last night,” New York magazine wrote.

Pimentel had been under investigation for more than two years. Bloomberg told the press the suspect had no connections to outside terror groups and was acting as “a total lone wolf.” Pimentel kept up the website www.trueislam1.com, which posted bomb-making directions from the Al Qaeda magazine Inspire, and had allegedly spoken of his desire to train in Yemen to carry out jihad in New York.

A law enforcement official, according to New York magazine, saw it this way:  “We weren’t going to wait around to figure out what he wanted to do with his bombs. He was in Harlem about an hour from actually having assembled the bombs” at the time of his arrest, but had all the “unassembled components ready to go.”

To read more click here.

Dems Demand Explanation on TSA Missed Deadline on Screening Packages on Planes

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Transportation Security Administration is still not scanning 100 percent of  the parcels on inbound international flights, and Congress wants to know why.

The website NextGov.com reports that it appears TSA will miss a deadline to scan all parcels on overseas planes for the second time, and House Democrats have sent a letter to TSA officials demanding an explanation,NextGov.com

Following 9/11,  TSA was mandated to screen 100 percent of international inbound passenger plane cargo by August of 2010. NextGov reported that when the time came and the task still seemed too great, “partly due to technological challenges,” the deadline was extended until the end of this year.

Still, TSA is reportedly screening only “identified high-risk” parcels. In an Oct. 31 letter legislators demanded to know if the TSA is skirting the law, reports NextGov.

Bomb-making materials were found hidden in packaged printer parts headed from Yemen to the United States about a year ago.

The TSA declined to comment specifically on the new demands, but TSA spokesman Greg Soule did say that the TSA is continuing its efforts to detect and eliminate risk, NextGov reported.

“Air cargo is more secure than it has ever been with 100 percent of cargo on flights departing US airports and 100 percent of identified high-risk international inbound cargo undergoing screening,” he said in a statement.

To read more click here.

Opinions Mixed on Assassination of US Born Radical Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

al-Awlaki

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

On tv, radio and on the Internet, pro and con opinions are rapidly cropping up over the assassination in Yemen of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical U.S.-born Muslim cleric.

Plenty folks in the U.S. were simply elated. Period.

But others  are questioning whether the U.S. has stepped over the line by assassinating the U.S. citizen.

President Obama called Awlaqi’s death “a major blow to al-Qaeda’s most active operational affiliate” and described him as “the leader of external operations for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” according to the Washington Post.

“In that role, he took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans,” Obama said at a ceremony honoring the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at Fort Myer, Fla., the Post reported.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), when asked by CNN Friday whether he had a problem with President Obama approving the assassination of an American citizen, said the only problem he would have had would have been if the president had not ordered the assassination.

Charlie Dunlap, visiting professor of law at Duke University Law School and director of Duke’s Center on Law, Ethics and National Security, said in a statement:

“In short, if a U.S. citizen overseas presents an imminent threat, or is a participant in an organized armed group engaged in armed conflict against the U.S., as the administration seems to be alleging is the case with al-Awlaki, the mere fact that he may also be accused of criminal offenses does not necessarily give him sanctuary from being lawfully attacked overseas as any other enemy belligerent might be.”

Here’s some samples of  opinions on newspaper websites around the country:

Reader DELewes wrote in the Washington Post:  “While a happy result, the means is a little frightening. We need a serious discussion of proper conduct of war…”

Reader battleground51 wrote in the Post: “This seems to be one of the things Obama is doing right.”

In the New York Times, Shane from New England wrote:  “Great news. With the murder of Bin Laden, this is a real feather in the president’s cap. The world is safer (I hope) today.”

A.S. of CA wrote in the Times: “Yes, Awlaki made videos supporting Al quaeda and wrote sermons. But as the Supreme Court has made it unambiguously clear in the past, advocating violence is protected free speech.”

Kevin D. Williamson, in a column in the National Review wrote:

“Here are two facts: (1) Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen and an al-Qaeda propagandist. (2) Pres. Barack Obama proposes to assassinate him. Between the first fact and the second falls the shadow.

“The Awlaki case has led many conservatives into dangerous error, as has the War on Terror more generally. That conservatives are for the most part either offering mute consent or cheering as the Obama administration draws up a list of U.S. citizens to be assassinated suggests not only that have we gone awry in our thinking about national security, limitations on state power, and the role of the president in our republic, but also that we still do not understand all of the implications of our country’s confrontation with Islamic radicalism.”

In response to the column, reader RobL wrote: “OK so if a policeman kills a criminal who is shooting at him, is this an assassination?

If a National Guardsman shoots and kills a looter during a state of emergency, is that an assassination?

If Major Hassan was killed by the guard woman who shot him, would that have been an assassination.

No, no and no!

al-Awlaki whether a citizen or not was declared war against the United States has plotted to kill and successfully organized missions to kill Americans.”